Take 5

A woman dancing with headphones on.

On the bite-sized healthy habits I enjoy.

When I think of healthy habits, I tend to think of things like going to the gym, getting 8 hours of sleep, doing a 10-step skincare routine ala Patrick Bateman, reading 10 pages of self-help books a day or drinking green juices. They’re all wonderful habits to commit to but that’s the thing, as a student, sometimes I just don’t have the time to engage in these (often) time-consuming and costly activities. Juggling between part-time jobs, meeting assignment deadlines and crying over my weekly readings can fill up my schedule pretty fast. But does that mean I should completely ignore looking out for my mental and physical health? Of course not!

In conjunction with the University’s Health Week, I’d like to share the healthy habits I found that fit in perfectly with my study and work schedule. They’re probably not as glamorous as going to pilates at 8am or meditating for 30 minutes every morning but it works well enough for me.


Every day, I thank 13-year-old Asirah for picking up that random notebook at the stationery store and striking a deal with herself to journal for a year. 8 years and 8 journals later, I still pen down every thought and activity that I did for the day in those books. Now, though, as I get busier and busier with my studies, I write less and less but that doesn’t mean I don’t write at all. I dedicate 5 minutes a day (usually at night) to write whatever it is I want to write in my journal. It ranges from a quick list of what I’m obsessing over for the week (currently, Anthony Bridgerton is at the top of this week’s list) to the cafes I visited with my friends to an attempt at being poetic and philosophical as I write about the kid I saw chasing a ball at the park – there has to be some metaphor about losing your grip on your youth in there somewhere, right? 

Whatever it may be, I find sitting down with my journal a very relaxing exercise that is good for my mental health. It’s the one time I can truly be candid with myself and not have to think about other people judging me.

Dance/Karaoke Breaks

This has gotta be my favourite thing to do when I’m on a study break – but only when I’m at home though. I think if I start belting out ABBA in the middle of Barr Smith Library, I’d get kicked out and end up on Sh!t Adelaide. It’s a really great way to physically tear myself away from staring at my laptop or phone screen for too long. Plus, it’s a fun way to get your cardio workout in for the day too!

I can do this in 5 minutes. Just pick a song, stand in front of a mirror (the bathroom one is usually my favourite, it makes me feel like I’m the main character in a rom-com movie) et voila, you’re ready to let the groove take over your body! 

P.S. It’s a lot more fun if you choose a song from a musical and pretend you’re the lead.

What’s your 5-minute healthy habit?

Tagged in What messes with your head, healthy habits, Student health, mental health, health week